Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Jan 7, 2022

Pali Ghost Story 2022

It was March 1980. My friends and I decided it was the perfect time to cut school. Ted took his father's Ford Galaxy, which he used every day for school, and met Shaun Taketa and me in front of the old Diner's drive-in. Together, we went to Pearl City high school, where Ted parked down the road and basically kidnapped his girlfriend Tracy right out of her home economics class. It was then that we took out all the burgers, fries, and drinks and enjoyed our morning meal while on the way to the Pali lookout. It was eleven 'o clock when we got there. The second we parked, Ted and Tracy began making out. Shaun and I excused ourselves and went walking toward the lookout. That's when we saw the lower path, which leads further down, so we decided to follow it, just to see how far it went. The 'awapuhi plants were in full bloom at almost seven feet tall, and the fragrance filled the air. The winds were strong, and the further we walked, we were able to look over the edge and saw the road coming out of the tunnel below. We realized well after that at eleven 'o clock in the morning, the area should have been filled with loads of tourists crowding the lookout and walking down this same path, but there was no one there. That's when we heard it, the voice of a girl our age calling out Shaun's name. "Shaun? Shaun? Shaun?" Then the voice went crazy. It began shouting his name in rapid succession. "Shaunshaunshaunshaunshaunshaun!"

"Did you hear that?" We said simultaneously. 

There was dead silence all of a sudden; all the noise was gone. Then we heard the girl's voice say, "Lopaka." How did a disembodied voice know our names? Shaun football tackled me out of the way and knocked me to the ground, and took off running. I was too scared to be hurt, even though I was scraped up and bleeding. I got up and ran after him, and when I caught up to him, we got into a big fight. Ted saw it and had to come and break us up. Needless to say, on the way home, Shaun and I didn't say a word to each other. That was in 1980 March. I wouldn't speak to Shaun or see him again until March 2006, nearly twenty-six years later. I got a call one afternoon while I was at home, ironing some of my clothes. The caller ID said, "UNKNOWN." I answered it, and the voice on the other side said, "This is Shaun Taketa," It took me a second, but when I realized who it was, I said, "Dude! Where have you been? I tried contacting you years ago, but you just fell off the map! So what's up, man?"

"Take this address down," he monotoned. "Meet me tomorrow at noon," then he hung up. 

The address was for a second house on the corner of Pupukupa street in Waipahu. The original house is no longer there today; it's been replaced by one of those two-story matchbox houses with the year-round Christmas decorations. I was there the following day at the specified time, and Shaun was sitting inside an enclosed patio. I walked, and Shaun turned the interior neon lights on. He didn't bother getting up to offer me a 'hey have you been, long time no see?' Instead, he gestured to a chair not too far from where he sat. I pulled it up to get closer to him, and he didn't appear to be bothered by it. "You remember that day we went to the Pali and walked down that empty road?" He asked.

"Yes," I replied.

"Remember how we heard the voice call my name, and then it called your name?" He looked at me now for some kind of confirmation.

"Yes," I answered. "I remember."

"And I knocked you down and ran away, you remember that?" He was pressing now.

"YES!" I was irritated now with all the questions and no acknowledgment of our past as high school classmates and friends. "What is this all about, Shaun?"

"You never wondered why I knocked you down?" His tone softened.

"All the time," my tone matched his now.

"When the voice called your name, a Hawaiian girl appeared from behind you with pale skin and long black hair," he was going over the details so he wouldn't miss anything. "She didn't have any clothes on, and her hands were on your shoulder. She was looking at you like a meal. She looked at me, and her eyes rolled over black, and a black forked tongue came out of her mouth. At the moment, I thought to myself, who's life is more worthless?"

"Worthless?" That was an odd thing for him to say. "What do you mean worthless?"

"Was it you? You, with your failing grades and your father forcing you to get an after-school job? Or was it me? Was I the worthless one because of how my parents abused me and forced me to watch them do it to my younger brother? It was me, worthless and no good. So when I pushed you out of the way, the spirit of the Hawaiian girl jumped on me, and she's been with me ever since."

"What?" This was what he brought me here for? To tell me this far-fetched story?

The entire week after we went to the pali, that Hawaiian girl's spirit would appear outside my bedroom window, knocking on the glass, again and again. Every time I'd open the window, she would point at the screen. She wanted me to let her in, and I always shook my head and said no. Finally, at the end of the week, when she appeared outside my window, demanding to be let in, and I refused her again. She took her finger and rubbed it across the screen. Slowly, the hook that held the screen to the window sill came undone, and she pulled the screen back and climbed in. That's the last thing I remember. I haven't been the same since." I needed a second or more to take in everything he said. I got a really good look at Shaun, and I don't know how I missed it. If what he told me was true, this thing with the Hawaiian girl's ghost or spirit really screwed his life up. It showed on his face. "Why tell me now after all these years?" I asked him.

"Do you see how well lit this patio is?" Shaun asked me without answering my question.

"Yeah," I nodded.

"But do you see that corner behind me to the right? How it's dark even though there's a light shining on it?" He pointed his thumb in that direction.

"Yeah, that is strange," I replied. "What is that?"

"That's her," he said. "She's still with me. She never left. You see, you've changed. You're not the same person you were back in high school, especially since that day. Me? I'm still Shaun Taketa from March 1980. She won't let me be anything but that." Shaun put his head down so he could hide his face from me. I guess he didn't want me to see him crying. He waved goodbye and gestured for me to leave. I was half unsure at first, but with that dark lingering presence in the corner, I didn't want to stay any longer than I had to. Walking out on the street and heading to my car down the block, the atmosphere and the weather outside were the complete opposite of what was happening in Shaun's house. Two different worlds and measures of time existed side by side. I never heard from Shaun again. Ten years later, in 2016, I drove by the house, but it was gone. With the new house standing on top of the foundation of what was once Shaun Taketa's boyhood domicile, I couldn't help but wonder if the spirit or ghost of the Hawaiian girl from the Pali went with Shaun or if she decided to stay where she was? Hawai'i is a small community. If anything, word will get around, and we'll know either way.

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